Chapter 13 Other Software in the 1980' s
The 1980' s began with a continuation in the shift
from the technical programming language enthusiast, to
the increased use of application software. Business
productivity programs such as databases, spreadsheets
and word processors became a major segment of the
software market. The release of more powerful
microprocessors, less expensive memory and storage
devices accelerated these changes. Ease-of-use and user
friendly were the terms used to describe the new focus
for software in the 1980' s. Incorporation of innovative
graphics helped to establish this new focus. These
market demands and the introduction of the IBM Personal
Computer in 1981, resulted in major changes and a rapid
expansion of the software industry. However, between
1983 and 1984, a severe downturn in the personal
computer industry, caused significant financial problems
for a number of software companies . The operating system
segment of the software market also experienced
13.1... Operating Systems
Seattle Computer Products
Seattle Computer Products, Inc., had developed an
Intel 8086 microprocessor card for the S-100 bus in May
1979. They reguired a 16-bit disk operating system and
proposed to use Digital Research CP/M-86 which had been
promised for the end of 1979. In April 1980 CP/M-86 was
not available and Seattle Computer Products decided to
develop its own operating system. It was written by Tim
Paterson and called QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating
System) because it was created so guickly (in two man-
months) . QDOS 0.1 was released in August 198 0.
QDOS was similar to CP/M. Paterson obtained
compatibility with CP/M by incorporating a translator
that converted 8080 instructions into 8086 instructions.
He then provided eguivalent CP/M functions to operate on
the 8086 microprocessor. Paterson also improved the data
13/2 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
storage capabilities and file organization of QDOS as
compared to CP/M by using the Microsoft concept of a
file allocation table (FAT) . This concept controlled the
disk format and space allocation.
Seattle Computer Products contacted Microsoft in
early August regarding adapting 808 6 BASIC to QDOS and a
possible cross-licensing agreement. In September 1980
Microsoft purchased non-exclusive rights to the Seattle
Computer Products operating system. Then in November
1980 Microsoft signed a contract with IBM to provide a
variety of software including an operating system for
their new PC Computer. A new version of the operating
system called 86-DOS 0.3 was released in late 1980.
Version 1.0 was released in April 1981 which was very
similar to Microsoft MS-DOS. Then Tim Paterson left
Seattle Computer Products and joined Microsoft in May
1981. Microsoft purchased all rights to the Seattle
Computer Products disk operating system, in July 1981
In late August 1980, IBM visited Digital Research
to negotiate the possible use or adaptation of CP/M for
its new PC computer. However Digital Research would not
sign an IBM non-disclosure agreement that resulted in a
termination of the meeting. Then in September it became
apparent that Digital Research would not assign the
resources reguired to provide a 16-bit version of CP/M
in the time schedule reguired by IBM. This resulted in
IBM selecting Microsoft to provide the PC computer
The negotiations with IBM were indicative of
company organizational problems. This resulted in John
Rowley being hired as president in November 1981.
CP/M-8 6 was a 16-bit version of the CP/M operating
system developed by Digital Research for the Intel 8086
microprocessor. Some early copies were available in
1981, however it was not released for use on the IBM
Personal Computer until April 1982 . The software was
priced from $175 to $240, which was considerably higher
than the $60 IBM charged for the Microsoft operating
system. The price was subseguently reduced, but the late
Other Software in the 1 980's 13/3
release, higher price and a lack of support from IBM
Concurrent CP/M-8 6 is a program developed by
Digital Research during 1982/83 to enable multitasking.
This provided the capability of running up to four
processes or programs at the same time. The company also
developed another operating system called Concurrent DOS
for the DOS environment in 198 4.
Then in May 1988, Digital Research released
Version 3.3 of DR-DOS (Digital Research - Disk Operating
System), an operating system compatible with MS-DOS.
This first release of DR-DOS was followed by Version
3.40 in January 1989 and Version 3.41 in June 1989.
Microsoft entered the operating system segment of
the software market when it developed XENIX in August
1980. Then with the release of the IBM PC computer in
August 1981, Microsoft became a significant provider of
operating system software (see Sections 12.2 and 12.3) .
See Appendix B for a description of the different
versions and corresponding release dates of DOS.
IBM contracted with Microsoft to provide the
operating system for its PC computer released in August
1981. IBM added some utilities to the Microsoft
operating system and called it PC-DOS. Then in 1984 IBM
entered into a joint development agreement with
Microsoft to develop a new operating system that became
OS/2 (see Section 9.5).
Apple Computer released the Sophisticated
Operating System (SOS) for the Apple III computer in May
1980. It was one of the earliest operating systems to
have installable device drivers.
The Professional Disk Operating System (ProDOS)
was developed for the Apple II computer and evolved from
the Apple III computer SOS operating system. It also
resulted from a reguirement to provide an interface with
peripheral devices other than the Disk II drive, a
13/4 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
hierarchical directory structure and peripheral device
drivers. ProDOS was released in January 1984 and was
subsequently renamed ProDOS 8.
The Professional Disk Operating System 16 (ProDOS
16) was a 16-bit operating system released with the
Apple IIGS computer in September 198 6.
The GS/OS native operating system was released for
the Apple IIGS computer in September 198 8. It
incorporated the concept of File System Translators
(FST's) to determine disk format for the selection of
device drivers. Version 5 of the Apple IIGS System
software was released in May 1989. It was a significant
upgrade of the system software with improvements in
performance, graphics and file operations.
Other Operating Systems
Douglas L. Michels founded The Santa Cruz
Operation (SCO) , Inc. in 1979. The company started
developing UNIX-based operating systems in the early
UCSD p-System is an operating system that included
UCSD Pascal. It was provided by SofTech Microsystems for
the IBM Personal Computer released in 1981. It had a
price of about $450.
Mach is a UNIX based micro-kernel operating system
developed by Richard (Rick) Rashid at Carnegie-Mellon
University in the mid 1980's. It was designed to be
portable to many types of hardware and multiprocessor
computers. It formed the basis for the NeXTSTEP
operating system and influenced the design of the
Microsoft Windows NT operating system.
NeXTSTEP is a UNIX-based operating system released
with the NeXT computer in October 1988. Avidis Tevanian
who had been one of the lead designers of the UNIX Mach
system at Carnegie-Mellon University, was the chief
software designer at NeXT. IBM subsequently licensed
NeXTSTEP with the intent of adapting the system for its
Other Software in the 1 980's 13/5
Operating System User Interfaces
Operating system user interfaces received a lot of
attention from hardware and software suppliers between
1980 and 1983. Apple Computer had developed a graphical
user interface for the Lisa and Macintosh computers.
VisiCorp demonstrated Vision in late 1982 and Microsoft
had initiated an extensive development of a system that
would become Windows (see Section 12.4) in 1983.
Vision is a multiwindow graphical environment
program that was demonstrated by VisiCorp (formerly
Personal Software) at the November 1982 COMDEX show in
Las Vegas. VisiCorp released the program in November
1983. It had taken between two to three years to develop
under the code name of Quasar. William T. Coleman was
the group manager responsible for the development of
Vision and related application programs. The software
interfaced between the IBM PC operating system and user
application programs. It utilized high resolution
graphics, a mouse and had its own application programs.
It was machine and device independent. The program cost
$495 at introduction, then after poor sales the price
was reduced to $95. However Vision could only run
programs written for the interface. The only programs
available at the release were VisiCalc, VisiGraph and
VisiWord from VisiCorp. This limitation was detrimental
to its widespread acceptance. Vision created financial
difficulties for VisiCorp. Control Data Corporation
subseguently purchased the Vision software.
DESQ is a windowing system developed by
Quarterdeck Office Systems in May 1984. It could
multitask DOS programs but did not have a graphical
interface. It was not successful. Quarterdeck
subseguently developed DESQview for use with IBM TopView
in July 1985.
Digital Research developed GEM (Graphics
Environment Manager) . Lee Lorenzen was a principal in
the software development. It had a graphical user
interface with a "look and feel" similar to the
Macintosh computer, but could not multitask DOS
programs . It was demonstrated at the COMDEX show in
October 198 4. The company also developed a number of
application programs for use with the system. During
13/6 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
1985 changes were made to the user interface, due to
threatened litigation by Apple because of the
similarities to Macintosh.
Hewlett-Packard developed NewWave PC that is an
interface for use with Microsoft Windows. HP announced
NewWave in November 198 7. It included additional
features to make Windows easier to use that had
similarities to the Apple Macintosh system. This
resulted in litigation by Apple Computer in March 1988.
Berkeley Softworks released GEOS (Graphic
Environment Operating System) that was ProDOS-compatible
in March 1988. It had a Mac-style desktop, word
processor and spelling checker.
Other operating system interfaces are Microsoft
Windows (see Section 12.4) , IBM Presentation Manager and
TopView (see Section 9.5) and a TopView clone called
Mondrian. Metaphor Computer Systems is a company founded
by David Liddle and Donald Massaro in 1983, that
developed a windows-like graphical user interface for
the PC computer.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
developed the X Window System for the UNIX operating
system. The X Window System is a graphical
communications interface that provides a standard way of
controlling graphic displays from one X Window System to
another. Graphical user interfaces that have been
developed for the X Window System are DECwindows, Open
Look by UNIX International and OSF/Motif by the Open
Other Software m the 1 980's 13/7
13.2 ... Programming Languages
As a result of demands for structured programming
concepts, Dartmouth College developed a powerful BASIC
compiler in 1983, called Dartmouth Structured BASIC,
also known as SBASIC. After many conflicting
requirements and technological changes since the
formation of a standards committee in 1974, the American
National Standards Institute (ANSI) completed a draft
for a "full" BASIC standard in 1983. This led Dartmouth
College to develop a compiler based on the new standard
that would be portable to most personal computers.
Dartmouth released this new compiler named True BASIC in
During the 1980' s, the availability of more
powerful computers and increased memory, resulted in a
move from interpreters to compilers for new BASIC
programming languages . Examples of these are the Digital
Research CBASIC-8 6 compiler, Microsoft QuickBASIC and
the Tandy Radio Shack RSBASIC compiler
Borland announced Turbo BASIC at the fall COMDEX
show in November 198 6.
Borland released Turbo C at a price of $99.95 in
the late 1980's.
B j arne Stroustrup developed the C++ programming
language at Bell Telephone Laboratories. C++ is an
object-oriented extension of the C language. C++ became
available in 1986.
In the summer of 1982 Logo became available for
the Apple II and TI-99/4A computers.
13/8 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
Modula-2 is a general purpose systems
implementation language based on the use of modules. It
was developed by Niklaus Wirth after a number of years
research on the capabilities of Pascal. The initial
Modula language was described by Wirth in 1977 and an
improved version Modula-2 was available in 1982.
The first commercial implementation of Modula-2
was announced by Volition Systems in December 1982. It
was released for a number of computers including the
Apple II, Apple III and 8080/Z80 based systems.
Oberon is an object-oriented systems programming
language developed by professors Niklaus Wirth and Jurg
Gutknecht at the ETH (Eidgenossische Technische
Hochschule) in Zurich, Switzerland. The language is a
distillation of the best features from Pascal and
Modula-2 . Oberon is smaller and simpler than its
predecessors. The software was developed in conjunction
with CERES, which was a single-board graphics
workstation. Work on the language began in 1985. Wirth
named the language in tribute to the precision of the
Voyager spacecraft as it flew past Uranus ' s moon of the
same name (Oberon) in 1988. Implementations are
available for Apple Mac II ' s, DEC DECstations, IBM RISC
System/6000 workstations, Intel based PC's and Sun
Microsoft developed a Pascal compiler for the IBM
PC in April 1983 that had a price of $300. Then in March
1989 Microsoft released Quick Pascal.
UCSD Pascal was originally developed at the
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) . The UCSD
system included the programming language and the UCSD
operating system and was supplied by SofTech
Philippe Kahn moved from France to the USA and
founded Borland International, Inc. in 1983. Turbo
Pascal was the first product developed by Kahn. The
compiler was introduced by an advertisement in the
Other Software in the 1 980's 13/9
November 1983 issue of Byte magazine at a price of only
$49.95. It was an innovative program with an integrated
programming environment. It facilitated program
development by having a built-in text editor from which
one could compile, correct errors and run the program.
The program was an immediate success. Some other
programs released by Borland are the Paradox database,
Quattro Pro spreadsheet and Sidekick.
Digital Research developed a three-pass compiler
for PL/I in 1980. The compiler was written in PL/M and
was based on the G Subset of PL/I which was an
adaptation for minicomputers. The first two passes
produced symbol tables and intermediate language
suitable for various hardware systems. The third pass,
optimized the code and developed the final machine code
for a specific system.
13.3... Word Processors
The 1980' s was a period of transition for word
processing. The market changed from companies such as
IBM, Lanier and Wang Laboratories supplying dedicated
word processors, to the use of general purpose personal
computers and word processing software from other
independent companies . The dominant companies changed in
1983 from Wang to MicroPro providing Word-Star, then to
the WordPerfect Corporation in 1986. However by 1989,
Microsoft Word and WordPerfect had close to egual shares
of the market.
In 1981, IBM negotiated with Bill Baker of
Information Unlimited Software (IUS) to adapt the Apple
II EasyWriter word processor for their new personal
computer. An agreement was reached and John Draper with
assistance from Larry Weiss of IUS developed the program
for the IBM PC. It had a price of $175 and was released
with the support of IBM in August 1981. The program did
not receive good reviews. However, it had good initial
13/10 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
sales, because it was the only word processor available
for the IBM PC at its introduction. Improvements were
made to the program, but it did not compete successfully
with later word processors. In 1983, Computer Associates
International purchased IUS from Bill Baker for over $10
For the founding of MicroPro International and the
introduction of Word-Star in 1979, see Section 7.3.
MicroPro adapted Word-Star to the IBM PC in mid 1982 and
it guickly gained a dominant share of the market. Other
company products were CalcStar, DataStar and InfoStar,
MailMerge and SpellStar. The company became a public
corporation in March 1984. A new version of the word
processor named Word-Star 2000 with a new interface was
introduced at the fall COMDEX show in 1984. However it
functioned slower and received a poor reception. This
was a turning point in the dominance of MicroPro as the
leading supplier of word processors. The company changed
its name to WordStar International in 1989.
Alan Ashton who was a Ph.D. graduate in computer
science from the University of Utah, started developing
the specification for a word processing program in the
summer of 1977. The specification defined innovative
features for word processors at that time. It included
text scrolling, use of function keys and automatic on-
screen editing. In 1978, Bruce Bastian started working
with Ashton to develop the software for the word
A simplified version of the software called P-Edit
for program editing was released and sold by an
associate Don Owens. Ashton, Bastian and Owens then
formed a company called Satellite Software International
(SSI) in September 1979 to market P-Edit and the new
word processor. The word processor was completed in
March 1980 and called SSI*WP. The software only worked
on a Data General computer system and the retail price
of the program was $5,500. However the program was easy
to use and fast.
Other Software in the 1980's 13/11
In October 1980, W. E. Pete Peterson who was a
brother-in-law of Bastian joined the company. At the end
of 1981 Owens was removed as an officer of the company
and Peterson became manager of sales and marketing and
subseguently an executive vice president.
In early 1982 the company started adapting P-Edit
for the IBM Personal Computer and completed the
conversion in August. Work on the conversion of SSI*WP
to the IBM PC was completed in the fall of 1982. The
name WordPerfect was selected for the program, then it
was announced to the press in October. WordPerfect was
released as version 2.20 and shipped in November. The
program had innovative features and the company provided
excellent customer support.
In early 1983, SSI purchased Don Owens share of
the company for $139,000. Ashton and Bastian now owned
50 percent each of the SSI stock. Peterson subseguently
received a small percentage of the shares. Versions 3.0
and 4.0 were released at the 1983 and 1984 fall COMDEX
shows respectively. Also in 1984, the company name was
changed to SSI Software. With the release of version
4.0, reviews were very favorable and sales set new
records in 1985.
Other company products were MathPlan (later named
PlanPerfect) , SSI*Data (later named DataPerfect) , a
legal-time-and-billing system named SSI*Legal and a
version of the Forth programming language named
SSI*Forth. In 1986, the company name was changed to
WordPerfect Corporation and WordPerfect became the
leading word processing program. Executive WordPerfect,
a "junior" version of WordPerfect was released for
portable computers in May 1987. In 1988 the company
released WordPerfect Office incorporating electronic
mail for networks, a version of WordPerfect for the
Apple Macintosh in April and version 5.0 of WordPerfect
for the IBM PC in May
In 1989, the tenth anniversary of the company
founding, WordPerfect had achieved significant success.
However with the release of graphical user interfaces by
IBM in OS/2 and by Microsoft with Windows, increasing
demands were occurring in the marketplace for
WordPerfect to provide a graphical version of its word
13/12 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
processor. Due to competitive concerns with Microsoft
Word and higher expectations for the success of the IBM
OS/2 operating system, the company decided to emphasize
the development of a version of WordPerfect for OS/2
Other Word Processors
Paul Lutus developed a new word processor for the
Apple II computer in 198 0, with a number of improvements
as compared to his previous Apple Writer program. Lutus
negotiated a royalty agreement for the program with
Apple Computer instead of the flat fee received
previously. The program called Apple Writer II was
released by Apple Computer in 1981. It became a very
popular word processor for the Apple II computer and
made Lutus guite wealthy.
Timothy E. Gill founded Quark, Inc., in 1981. Gill
developed an early word processor called Word Juggler
for the Apple III computer. Farhad Fred Ebrahimi
purchased half of the company in 198 6.
MultiMate is the name of a series of word
processing programs initially developed by MultiMate
International Corporation. The company was established
in 1982 and was acguired by Ashton-Tate, in December
1985. The first program developed was MultiMate
Professional Word Processor. An improved version with
additional advanced features was called MultiMate
Advantage Professional Word Processor. An easy-to-use
version of the program called MultiMate Executive Word
Processor is also available.
Camila Wilson developed Volkswriter and founded
Lifetree Software Inc., in 1982. Volkswriter was
introduced at the West Coast Computer Faire in March
1982. The program was written in Microsoft Pascal. It
was one of the earliest effective word processors for
the IBM PC computer. It was priced at $195 and a deluxe
version at $295.
Bank Street Writer is a word processing program
that was developed by a group of Boston programmers for
Apple II computers. Br0derbund Software obtained the
publication rights and released it in December 1982.
Br0derbund subseguently released it for Atari computers.
Other Software in the 1 980's 13/13
pf s : Write was developed by Software Publishing
Corporation in the early 1980 ' s. It became a popular
word processing program with significant market
penetration. See Section 13.5 for initial developments
at Software Publishing Corporation.
Other word processing programs such as the Apple
Computer MacWrite, IBM Displaywrite, Lotus Ami Pro
(developed by the Samna company and subseguently became
WordPro) , Microsoft Word and Sierra On-Line Homeword
shared the market. See Section 12.6 for details of
Microsoft Multi-Tool Word, Word and Word for Windows
word processing programs.
13.4 ... Spreadsheets
Lotus 1-2-3 was co-developed by Mitchell D. Kapor
and Jonathan M. Sachs in 1981. Sachs was a graduate in
mathematics from MIT and spent fourteen years studying
and working at various positions at MIT. In the mid
seventies Sachs left MIT and supervised the development
of an operating system at Data General. Following this
he co-founded Concentric Data Systems where he designed
a spreadsheet to run on Data General hardware. Kapor is
a graduate in psychology from Yale University and
partially completed a masters degree at MIT. In 1978/79
Kapor co-developed a program called Tiny Troll and in
1981 two programs called VisiPlot and VisiTrend.
In 1981 Sachs and Kapor reached an agreement to
adapt Sachs spreadsheet program for the new IBM Personal
Computer. Sachs had strong technical experience,
especially in assembly language and Kapor had successful
commercial experience in program development, with
special skills in the design of the user interface.
Kapor and Sachs assigned the code name of TRIO to the
software development project.
To finance the initial development and company
startup they contacted Sevin-Rosen Partners. Benjamin M.
Rosen was a venture capitalist who had purchased Tiny
Troll from Kapor. Rosen and his partner L. J. Sevin and
other investors entered into an agreement to help
13/14 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
finance with the development and introduction of the
spreadsheet software. Lotus Development Corporation was
founded in April 1982. The name Lotus was selected by
Kapor, and comes from India where it is associated with
the concept of perfect enlightenment.
The program featured natural-order recalculation,
integrated graphics capability for charting, had a
limited database capability and provided a computer
based user tutorial. However the program reguired 128K
bytes of memory. The software was optimized for a PC
computer with the increased memory capacity and took
advantage of the more powerful capabilities of the Intel
8088 microprocessor. The software was very fast in
operation and achieved extra speed by going around DOS .
Lotus 1-2-3, was announced in October 1982,
demonstrated at the November 1982 COMDEX show in Las
Vegas and shipped in January 1983. It was an immediate
success and soon replaced VisiCalc as the dominant
The company became a public corporation in October
1983. An improved version 2.0 of Lotus 1-2-3 was
released in November 1985. Jim P. Manzi became president
of Lotus in 198 4 and chairman after the departure of
Mitchell Kapor in July 198 6. Lotus 1-2-3/3 was a new
improved version of Lotus 1-2-3 that was announced in
April 1987 for IBM OS/2 systems. In September 1987 Lotus
announced it would be delayed, it was finally released
in June 1989.
Reference Section 7.4 for the founding of Software
Arts and the initial development of VisiCalc in 1979.
In February 1980, Robert Frankston of Software
Arts developed the DIF format for VisiCalc to facilitate
data transfer. During 1980/81 Software Arts adapted
VisiCalc to other computers such as the Atari, Commodore
Pet, IBM PC and Radio Shack TRS-80. VisiCalc Advanced
Version was released with additional features at the
National Computer Conference in 1982. In early 1982,
Personal Software, Inc. changed the name of the company
to VisiCorp. Subseguently Software Arts and VisiCorp had
disputes regarding the development and marketing of
Other Software in the 1 980's 13/15
VisiCalc. In September 1983 it resulted in litigation,
and in early 198 4 Software Arts terminated its marketing
agreement with VisiCorp. The litigation was settled out-
of-court in September 1984 in favor of Software Arts.
Lotus 1-2-3 had significantly impacted the sales
of VisiCalc. Also the development costs of Vision and
the litigation had affected the financial viability of
VisiCorp. VisiCorp merged with Palladin Software in
November 198 4. Then Software Arts was purchased by Lotus
Development Corporation for $6.5 million in April 1985.
Daniel Bricklin became a consultant for Lotus, then he
founded a new software publishing company called
Software Garden, Inc.
See Section 10.4 for the Apple Computer LisaCalc
and Section 12.6 for details of Microsoft Electronic
Paper, Multiplan and Excel spreadsheets.
SuperCalc was designed by Gary Balleisen and
released by a company called Sorcim for the CP/M market.
Richard Frank owned the company whose name is micros
spelled backwards. Subseguently improvements were
incorporated in the release of SuperCalc3 and SuperCalc5
that featured 3-dimensional capabilities. The
spreadsheet was acquired by Computer Associates
International in 1984.
Randy Wigginton developed Full Impact for the
Macintosh in 198 9. The program was marketed by Ashton-
Quattro Pro was a spreadsheet program developed by
a company in Hungary and released by Borland
International in 1987. Version 2.0 was released in
Other spreadsheet programs developed during the
1980's were: Javelin by Javelin Software, pfs:Plan by
Software Publishing, SCO Professional by Santa Cruz
Operation, T/Maker by Heidi and Peter Roizen, VP-Planner
by Paperback Software and WingZ for the Apple Macintosh
by Informix. Spreadsheet add-on programs were released
during the 1980' s to provide additional features.
Examples of these are pf s : Graph by Software Publishing
13/16 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
and a program called Sideways, which as the name
suggests printed a spreadsheet sideways.
13.5 ... Databases
The dBASE database program was initially developed
by C. Wayne Ratliff in 1979 under the name of Vulcan.
However he was not able to market the software
George Tate and Hal Lashlee founded a company
called Software Plus as a discount mail-order software
service in August 1980. In late 1980 they signed a
marketing agreement with Wayne Ratliff to market his
Vulcan database software. The company name was then
changed to Ashton-Tate, Inc. The Ashton name does not
represent anything and was selected for marketing
considerations. Ratliff joined Ashton-Tate later as the
The software was introduced as dBASE II for 8-bit
computers with a CP/M operating system in January 1981.
There never was a dBASE I, the II implied an improved
product. It was one of the earliest full functional
relational data base programs for personal computers.
The software included capabilities for programming
customized reguirements . The company offered innovative
support services that guickly resulted in its success.
In mid-1983 Ashton-Tate purchased the dBASE II
technology and copyright from Wayne Ratliff. The company
went public in November 1983. Version 2.4 of dBASE II
was released in 1983 with capabilities to run on both an
IBM PC computer and a CP/M operating system.
dBASE III for 16-bit computers was released in May
1984. It provided extended functions, pull-down menus
and a limited networking capability. dBASE III PLUS was
released with built-in multi-user capabilities in
November 1985. A dBASE III PLUS LAN PACK was available
to share dBASE III files in a network. dBASE Mac was
released for the Apple Macintosh computer in September
1987. However, it did not receive good reports.
Other Software in the 1 980's 13/17
Lawrence J. Ellison, Robert N. Miner and Edward A.
Oates founded Software Development Laboratories (SDL) in
June 1977. The company had just received a contract to
provide software for a mass storage device.
Before the contract was finished the company
decided to diversify by developing a packaged software
product. This new product would be a relational database
system, that was first described by Edgar F. Codd of IBM
in the June 1970 issue of the Communications of the ACM.
It would also incorporate a Structured Query Language
(SQL), developed by the System R (Relational) group at
IBM's Research Laboratory in San Jose, California. SQL
was the user interface for the database system. Miner
and Bruce Scott were principals in the development of
the new program that was named Oracle . The program was
developed on a DEC minicomputer and was introduced in
1978 . IBM had conceived the relational database system,
but SDL had beaten them to the market (IBM did not
release a relational system until February 1982) .
Shortly after the introduction the company name was
changed to Relational Software Inc. (RSI) then later to
the Oracle Corporation.
RSI's first customer was the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) . However the CIA reguired the database to
run on other operating systems such as IBM's or DEC's
VAX. This and other customer reguirements resulted in a
rewrite of the database program in the C language to
make it portable to different computer platforms. In the
late 1980' s, an easy-to-use version of the Oracle
database was developed for the Apple Macintosh computer.
This was followed by a version to run on a personal
computer using Microsoft Windows . The company also
developed network and client-server software for the
personal computer market.
The company went public in 198 6 and is now the
world's largest supplier of database software. Oracle
Corporation is the second-largest independent software
company after Microsoft.
13/18 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
Software Publishing Corporation (SPC) was founded
in 1980 by three Hewlett-Packard associates, Janelle
Bedke, Fred M. Gibbons and John D. Page. The initial
impetus for establishing the company was by Gibbons . The
company president is Gibbons, the vice president of
software development is Page and the vice president of
marketing is Bedke. Page had created a database for a
minicomputer at Hewlett-Packard. He then developed SPC's
first program called Personal Filing System, that was
abbreviated to pfs:File
The program was developed with the concepts of
being simple, easy-to-use and of low cost. The program
was written in Pascal with assembler routines for
performance critical functions. The program was released
in September 198 for the Apple II computer.
Other programs such as pf s : Graph, pfs:Plan,
pfs : Report and pfs:Word have been released using the
same design concepts. The programs have also been
adapted for various computers such as the IBM PC and
Radio Shack models . IBM markets the pfs programs using
the IBM Assistant series of labels. See Sections 13.3
and 13.4 for additional details of other Software
Informix Software Inc., is another major database
software company founded by Roger Sippl in 198 0. The
company went public in 198 6 and Phillip E. White became
the chief executive officer in 1989.
Rupert Lissner developed QuickFile that was an
early Apple II database program marketed by Apple
Computer in 1980. A version for the Apple lie was
subseguently released named QuickFile lie.
Jim Button developed a simple inexpensive
shareware database program called PC File. He founded a
company called ButtonWare around 1983 that was one of
the earliest shareware companies .
Mark B. Hoffman and Robert S. Epstein founded
Sybase, Inc., in 1984. The company developed relational
databases, operating systems and now specializes in
client-server software. The company went public in 1991.
Other Software in the 1 980's 13/19
Laurent Ribardiere and Marylene Delbourg-Delphis
of France developed the 4th Dimension database for the
Apple Macintosh computer in 1985. The program was a
powerful graphic database and was acguired by Apple
Computer. However, due to pressure from Ashton-Tate who
were developing dBASE for the Macintosh, Apple Computer
decided not to release the program. The developers
founded the French company Analyses Conseils
Informations (ACI) to market the program. In April 1987,
the company formed ACIUS to market the program in the
USA and appointed Guy Kawasaki who had been an executive
with Apple Computer as president of ACIUS.
In 1987, Borland International bought Ansa
Software and its database management system called
Paradox. Borland released its version of Paradox in
13.6 ... Integrated Programs
In the early 1980' s, integrated programs that
combined features such as a word processor, spreadsheet
and database became very popular.
Context MBA was a powerful integrated software
package developed by Context Management Systems and
released in July 1982 . It featured a powerful
spreadsheet, communications program, database, graphics
and word processor. To improve portability it was
developed for the UCSD operating system. However the
system was slow, was not user friendly and could not
compete with the faster programs such as Lotus 1-2-3.
The company subseguently went out of business.
AppleWorks and 3 E-Z Pieces
AppleWorks is an integrated software package
developed by Rupert Lissner starting in 1982. It evolved
from the QuickFile database program by Lissner and was
initially called Apple Pie. The program was written in
machine language. It is an integrated word processing,
13/20 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
spreadsheet and database software package which was
introduced for the Apple lie in November 1983.
The program was marketed by Apple Computer and
sold for $250. AppleWorks became one of the world's best
selling programs and enhanced the sale of Apple lie
computers. Its popularity resulted in the formation of
the National AppleWorks Users Group (NAUG) . An improved
Version 2.0 of AppleWorks was released in September
1986. Then Apple Computer's subsidiary Claris
Corporation, contracted with Beagle Bros, to develop a
major update of the program. This was released as
Version 3.0 in March 1989 and a networked version in
A similar program called 3 E-Z Pieces was
simultaneously developed by Lissner for the Apple III.
Lissner sold the marketing rights for this program to
Haba Systems .
Subseguently a number of add-on enhancements were
made for the AppleWorks program by other companies.
Pinpoint Publishing released Pinpoint Desk Accessories
in 1985 and Beagle Bros, released MacroWorks in June
1986 and a series of TimeOut modules starting in 1987.
3-Plus-l is an integrated program that was
developed by Commodore and included with their PLUS/4
computer which was released in January 1984. The program
included a word processor, spreadsheet, business
graphics and a file manager.
Symphony and Jazz
Lotus Development Corporation introduced an
integrated program called Symphony for the IBM Personal
Computer in February 198 4. It was a five function
integrated package with spreadsheet, business graphics,
word processor, database manager and telecommunication
capabilities. The project leader on the software
development was Raymond Ozzie. However users felt it was
too complex and sales were below expectations.
Jazz is a five function integrated program by
Lotus similar to Symphony but for use on the Apple
Macintosh computer. It was announced in November 1984
Other Software in the 1 980's 13/21
for release in March 1985, but the release was delayed
until May. The software had a price of $595. However
Jazz received mixed reviews. It was reported to be slow
and lacked macros as on Lotus 1-2-3. The sales were to
some extent affected by the release of the highly
successful Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Lotus reduced
the price of Jazz, but it was not a successful product.
The Framework software was developed by Robert
Carr who has both a bachelor's and master's degree in
computer science from Stanford University. Carr had
previously worked on Context MBA and at the Xerox PARC
(Palo Alto Research Center) on software for future
products. In 1983, Carr co-founded Forefront Corporation
with Marty Mazner. The company was financed by Ashton-
Tate in exchange for marketing rights to the software.
The software integrated a word processor, data base,
spreadsheet, graphics and communication capabilities.
The five function integrated software package
named Framework was introduced by Ashton-Tate in July
1984. In 1985 Ashton-Tate acguired Forefront Corporation
and Carr became chief scientist. Framework II, a second
generation of the software was introduced in September
1985. It included improved functionality and ease of use
Was released by Software Publishing Corporation
(SPC) in 1986. First Choice was an easy to use program
that integrated four popular programs into one package.
GS Works and AppleWorks GS
GS Works was initially developed by Styleware for
the Apple IIGS computer and was announced in July 1988.
The program was subseguently purchased by Claris and
released as AppleWorks GS . It is an integrated software
package with a Mac-style user interface in six
integrated modules. The modules are: a word processor
with a spelling checker and thesaurus, database,
spreadsheet, graphics with printing and drawing
features, page-layout and telecommunications.
13/22 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
AlphaWorks, Enable, Ovation, Q & A and Smart were
other integrated programs developed or released in the
13. 7 ... Miscellaneous
Peachtree Software, Inc., started as a retail
computer store in 1975 and changed to a software company
in 1978 . It was one of the first companies to develop
accounting software for personal computers . IBM selected
Peachtree Software to provide an accounting package for
the IBM Personal Computer in 198 0. The software was
called the Business Accounting Series, that included
general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable,
inventory management and payroll modules . Programs for
the IBM PC computer were released in August 1981.
In 1981, Peachtree Software became a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Management Science America Inc. Then in
May 1985, Peachtree was purchased by Intelligent
Systems. Bill Goodhew became the president and chief
executive officer. Significant improvements and price
reductions were made to the high-end software, that was
renamed Peachtree Complete in 1986. Then in 1988,
Goodhew, other management and outside investors
purchased the company from Intelligent Systems .
BIOS - Basic Input/Output Systems
The Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) for the IBM
Personal Computer was developed by David J. Bradley in
1980/81. The BIOS code controls the transfer of
information between elements of the hardware system. IBM
made the BIOS code proprietary by copyrighting it. This
prevented other companies from using the BIOS unless the
obtained a license from IBM, or reverse engineered it.
Compag Computer Corporation was the first company
to reverse engineer the functions of the IBM BIOS to
obtain compatibility for their portable computer
released in November 1982 . Then Neil Colvin who founded
Phoenix Technologies Ltd., also reverse engineered the
Other Software in the 1 980's 13/23
IBM BIOS software. Phoenix released a chip for IBM
compatible computers in May 1984. These developments
would have a significant impact on the creation of the
IBM clone market.
Computer Assisted Drafting (CAD)
John Walker founded Autodesk, Inc., in 1982. The
company purchased its main product AutoCAD that was
designed by Michael Riddle. Autodesk is a major supplier
of computer assisted drafting (CAD) software for use on
personal computers by architects and engineers. The
software is available in different versions. The company
went public in 1985.
Hardware technology that provided the bit-mapped
screen and the WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get)
display of text enabled desktop publishing. The hardware
technology was refined at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research
Center) and implemented in a practical manner on the
Macintosh computer. This software made a significant
difference in the publishing process by utilizing a
relatively inexpensive personal computer. Articles could
be readily composed by manipulating text and graphics.
The file could then be transferred digitally to a
John E. Warnock and Charles M. Geschke founded
Adobe Systems Inc., in 1982. Their original product
called PostScript was derived from technology that
Warnock had developed at the University of Utah and
Xerox PARC. Warnock had co-developed at PARC a language
called JaM that stands for John and Martin (John Warnock
and Martin Newell) . This language was the predecessor of
PostScript that Adobe introduced in March 1985. The
PostScript software contains a page description language
that controls the text, graphics, images and color. This
facilitates the communication of electronic documents . A
special font technology enables the printing of
virtually identical characters on various printers with
different resolutions. The page-description language
also enables a page to be printed with a mix of text and
graphics at any resolution. Shortly after the founding
13/24 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
of Adobe, Apple Computer made a significant financial
investment in the company. Steven Jobs wanted PostScript
released for the new Macintosh computer and LaserWriter
printer. Adobe Systems became a publicly held company in
Print Shop is a desktop publishing program
developed by Br0derbund Software and announced for Apple
computers in May 198 4.
PageMaker is a desktop publishing program
developed by Aldus initially for the Apple Macintosh
computer and LaserWriter printer. Paul Brainerd and
colleagues founded Aldus Corporation in 198 4 and
released PageMaker in July 1985. It became a popular
program and contributed significantly to an increase in
sales of the Macintosh computer. The Aldus company was
acquired by Adobe Systems in 1994.
Ventura Software Inc., was founded in 1985 by
three Digital Research employees. The company introduced
in 198 6 the earliest desktop publishing program for the
IBM PC, called Ventura Publisher. Ventura Software was
acquired by Xerox Corporation in 1990, who sold it to
Corel Corporation in 1993.
Quark, Inc., initially founded as a word
processing company, introduced QuarkXPress, a desktop
publishing program in 198 7. Quark has become a leading
supplier of desktop publishing programs.
Timeworks released Publish It!, a desktop
publishing program for the Apple II computer in January
A lot of software has been developed to provide
games for personal computers in the 1980' s. The
following are a few of the more significant companies
and their releases.
Zork I was initially developed for mainframe
computers by Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels and
Dave Lebling of MIT in 1977. The game was written using
a MIT language called MDL. Albert Vezza who was chief of
the programming research group wanted to commercialize
some of the capabilities at MIT. Vezza, Joel Berez, the
initial developers of Zork and other associates founded
Other Software in the 1 980's 13/25
Infocom Inc., in June 1979. The mainframe version of
Zork I was then adapted for personal computers and
released in December 1980. Joel Berez became president
and Personal Software was the initial marketer of Zork.
Zork II was released in 1981 and Deadline in 1982.
Douglas G. Carlston and Gary Carlston were
principals in the founding of Br0derbund Software, Inc.,
in February 198 0. Br0derbund is a Swedish word for
brotherhood. The company released a battle game called
Galactic Empire and a game of barter called Galactic
Trader for the TRS-80 computer that had been programmed
by Douglas Carlston. The games were offered for sale at
the West Coast Computer Faire in April 198 0. The
programs became part of the Galactic Saga series of
games. Shortly after the games were converted to run on
the Apple II computer. A distribution agreement with a
Japanese company called Star Craft allowed Br0derbund to
market their games. A number of games such as Alien
Rain, Choplifter, Lode Runner, David's Midnight Magic
and Space Quarks have been successful. Through the mid
1980' s Br0derbund expanded its product line to include
items other than games . Br0derbund released an
educational program, "Where in the World is Carmen
Sandiego?" that teaches geography in 1985. Gary Carlston
left the company in 1989.
Ken Williams and his wife Roberta Williams founded
On-Line Systems in early 1980. Roberta Williams
conceived a game situated in a mysterious house with
challenges similar to the Adventure games introduced in
the 1970' s. Ken Williams developed the software for the
game program that included graphics of rooms inside the
house. The program was introduced with the name Mystery
House for the Apple II computer in May 198 0. The game
became guite successful and another game called Wizard
and the Princess was released shortly after. By 1982,
the company name had changed to Sierra On-Line Inc. In
1984, a game called King's Quest was released.
Terry Bradley and Jerry Jewell founded Sirius
Software in early 1980. The first entertainment products
released by the company were developed by Nasir Gebelli.
The first software released was a graphic utilities
program called E-Z Draw, then the game programs Both
13/26 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
Barrels, Cyber strike and Star Cruiser followed. Sirius
became a major supplier of game software in the early
1980' s. However, in the summer of 1984, the company had
financial difficulties and became bankrupt.
Bill Budge founded his own company called Budgeco
in early 1981, to market a new game he had developed
called Raster Blaster. The program was a computer
version of a pinball game with innovative graphics. It
simulated the bouncing of the steel ball, flippers and
the effect of gravity. It became a very successful game
program for the Apple II computer. Budge then developed
another innovative program called Pinball Construction
Set and marketed it through Electronic Arts.
William "Trip" Hawkins who had been a manager at
Apple Computer, founded Electronic Arts Inc., in 1982.
The company is a creator and distributor of recreational
software. Hawkins contracted with independent software
developers and created a unigue company image by
promoting these developers as software artists, similar
to musicians, writers and other popular stars. Other
company strategies were the direct distribution of its
software to retailers, an innovative process for
managing creative software development and technology
leverage. Two early successful programs were Pinball
Construction Set by Bill Budge, and Music Construction
Set by Will Harvey. The company started developing video
game systems in 1990 and Hawkins left Electronic Arts in
1993 to start another game system company.
Flight Simulator is a popular game designed by
Bruce A. Artwick that was initially sold by a company
called subLogic. It simulates the flight of a Cessna 182
aircraft. The game is now marketed by Microsoft. A
version was released for Windows 95 in November 1996.
Mark Pelczarski founded a graphics company called
Penguin Software in mid 1981. An early graphics utility
called Magic Paintbrush was released for the Apple II
In-A-Vision is a graphics drawing program
developed by Micrografx Inc., a company founded by
George D. Grayson and J. Paul Grayson in 1982. It was
Other Software in the 1 980's 13/27
released in July 1985. It was one of the earliest
application programs available for Microsoft Windows .
Michael C. J. Cowpland founded the Canadian
company called Corel Systems Corporation in April 1985.
Corel is an acronym for Cowpland research laboratories.
Previously he had co-founded a Canadian
telecommunications company called Mitel Corporation and
a venture capital company called Bytec Management
Corporation. However Mitel had financial difficulties in
1984 and was purchased by British Telecom. Corel Systems
originally focused on integrated turnkey systems using a
laser printer for word processing and desktop
publishing. The company then started assigning resources
to the development of graphics software and introduced
Version 1.0 of CorelDRAW in January 1989. The product
was highly successful and the company went public In
Harvard Graphics is a graphics program supplied by
Software Publishing, Inc.
AppleTalk is the network software developed by
Apple Computer for Apple computers in January 1985.
Related software was LocalTalk and AppleShare.
CP/NET was developed by Digital Research and
introduced in late 1980. It connected users of Digital
Research's CP/M and MP/M operating systems through the
use of an arbitrary network protocol.
GRiD Server is a software package that was
released in the early 1980 ' s for communication between
different GRiD computers and IBM users .
Novell Data Systems started in 1980 as a
manufacturer of personal computer peripherals. Between
1981 and 1982, Safeguard Scientifics, a venture capital
firm acguired an 8 8 percent share of the company. The
company name was changed to Novell, Inc., with its
incorporation in January 1983 and Raymond Noorda was
brought in as chief executive officer. Its early UNIX
based software was a network communications program
called NetWare, released in 1983. This program was the
first to introduce the concept of a file server in a
local area network (LAN) , that controlled access to
13/28 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
shared devices, such as disk drives and printers. Drew
Major was the lead architect in developing the program,
and became chief scientist at the company. The company
became a public corporation in 1985.
IBM released PC Network in the spring of 1985 for
use with Version 3.1 of MS DOS from Microsoft.
cc:Mail is a network communications electronic
mail program that was created by Lotus Development
Other Applications and Companies
Avant-Garde Creations was a unigue company founded
by Don Fudge and Mary Carol Smith that evolved from a
book publishing venture started in 197 6. The company
specialized initially in psychological self-help
programs such as the Creative Life Dynamic series
introduced in 1980 that complemented their books. Avant-
Garde also developed educational, game and utility
programs that enjoyed some success. The company was
acquired by David Silver, a venture financier, around
1984 and Tom Measday became president.
Human Engineered Software (HES) is a company that
had a rapid rise and fall of fortunes in the early
1980' s. The company was founded by Jay Balakrisman in
1980, to market a utility program he had developed.
Around 1982, Balakrisman sold his company to USI
International, a supplier of microcomputer components
who wanted to enter the software market. However, in
1983, USI encountered financial difficulties and sold
HES to new investors. HES was a casualty of the software
market decline in 1984, and became bankrupt in October.
Spinnaker Software Corporation is another company
started to exploit the educational segment of the
personal computer software market. It was founded in the
early 1980's by William Bowman and C. David Seuss.
In 1978/79 Mitchell Kapor wrote a program called
Tiny Troll which did line charts, multiple regressions,
statistical analysis and had a text editor. Following
this he made an agreement with Personal Software (later
VisiCorp) to develop two graphical programs to work with
the VisiCalc spreadsheet program. The two programs were
VisiPlot for doing charts and VisiTrend a statistics
Other Software in the 1 980's 13/29
package which were released in April 1981. VisiPlot was
initially priced at $199.50. Personal Software purchased
the rights to the two programs from Kapor in October
1981 for $1.5 million.
Typing Tutor was designed by Dick Ainsworth and Al
Baker. The program was marketed by Microsoft and Kriya
Systems in 1982 . Sat Tara Singh Khalsa was a principal
in the founding of the Kriya Systems .
Gary Hendrix, who was an expert in artificial
intelligence, founded Symantec Corporation in 1982. Then
in 1983, Gordon E. Eubanks left Digital Research and
with Dennis Coleman founded the C & E (Coleman &
Eubanks) software company. In 1984, C & E purchased the
Symantec Corporation. Gordon Eubanks is the president
and chief executive officer of Symantec that went public
TK! Solver (TK for Tool Kit) was a program that
provided a framework for building and experimenting with
expert systems in engineering, scientific and other
knowledge disciplines. It was developed by Daniel
Bricklin and Bob Frankston and released by Software Arts
in February 1983.
Sidekick is a terminate-and-stay-resident (TSR)
program introduced by Borland International in mid 198 4.
Once the program was loaded in memory, it could be
recalled at the touch of a key or two while running
another program. It was released in June 1984. It had an
appointment calendar, calculator, phone dialer, address
book and a Word-Star compatible text editor.
Charles B. Wang and Russell M. Artzt started a
joint venture with Swiss company Computer Associates
(CA) International, Inc., in 197 6. Wang purchased
control in 198 0. CA has become a major worldwide
software company by purchasing numerous software
companies. Although the company's main focus is on
business software for large computers, it has acguired
personal computer software products such as EasyWriter
word processor in 1983, the SuperCalc spreadsheet in
1984 and the BPI accounting software in 1987.
Quicken is a popular personal finance program that
was introduced by a company called Intuit, Inc., in
13/30 Part III 1980's- The IBM/Macintosh era
1984. Intuit was founded by Scott D. Cook and William V.
Campbell is the president and chief executive officer.
Roger Wagner Publishing released HyperStudio for
the Apple IIGS computer in May 1989. The program used
concepts similar to the Macintosh HyperTalk system.